Monday, July 30, 2012

It's the Olympics!

By Lisa Karon Richardson

The Brits are having quite the year. Not only is it the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, but they are also hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics. Being both an anglophile and an Olympics geek I am loving it.

The events kicked off Friday night with an opening ceremony that really showcased the British personality. I LOVED that they included humor. I've never seen that done in an opening ceremony before. But from the Queen's spectacular arrival at the stadium via a parachute jump from a helicopter, to Mr. Bean's memorable participation in the London Symphony Orchestra's performance of Chariots of Fire, the classic British sense of humor was definitely on display. The drama of England's transformation from agrarian to industrial society had an almost steampunk flavor to it. Director Danny Boyle then captured the move to a digital world through the music of the last four decades. And of course, what bibliophile wouldn't love the tribute to great British literature. It was definitely a smaller production than the Beijing olympics. But I thoroughly enjoyed the London opening ceremony.

The games themselves are always full of memorable moments. Triumphs and tragedies, victories and defeats. American Kim Rhode has captured her 5th medal in a row, taking gold in skeet shooting. She shot 99/100, the highest score in Olympic history. But who could help feeling for Michael Phelps after his disappointing 4th place finish in the mens 400m while at the same time celebrating with Ryan Lochte. And our women's synchronized divers took silver, the first medal for an American diver since Australia. But then favorite in women's gymnastics, Jordyn Wieber, the reigning world champ, failed to qualify for the individual competitions.

Do you love the Olympics? What did you think of the opening ceremony and the games so far?

Influenced by books like The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, Lisa Karon Richardson’s early books were heavy on boarding schools and creepy houses. Now that she’s (mostly) all grown-up she still loves a healthy dash of adventure and excitement in any story she creates, even her real-life story. She’s been a missionary to the Seychelles and Gabon and now that she and her husband are back in America, they are tackling a brand new adventure, starting a daughter-work church in a new city. Her first novella, Impressed by Love, part of the Colonial Courtships collection, is coming in October, 2012 followed shortly thereafter by The Magistrate’s Folly in November.


  1. I'm a curmudgeon. Haven't watched any of it. Don't intend to. Bah humbug.

    I don't find the Summer Olympic sports interesting. I do watch the Winter Games because I enjoy ice skating. (Though it's much harder to do now that I live in a warm climate and I don't live particularly close to a rink.)

  2. I love the gymnastics the best. I did gymnastics from about first to sixth grade, and I can still do a few simple tricks. Around the time I passed 5'4" and got tired of injuries, I switched to ballet. My kids are all good gymnasts, although they've mostly done just the tumbling aspect through are dance studio.

  3. Boo hiss, CJ! I don't regularly watch any sports, but the Olympics just have a special aura around them for me.

  4. Dina, my 6 year old has now informed me that she wants to do gymnastics. She is very impressed with what they do.

  5. Ha ha. My now fifteen year old started gymnastics in 2004. Then got serious and upped to 9 hours a week in 2008. See a trend? But he dropped out each time after about six months ;) He was really good though. He would be able to do competitive gymnastics, except that it would cut into his skateboarding/surfing/hanging out with buddies in the neighborhood time. He's too much of a free spirit for that heavy commitment.

  6. Yep, Dina. I seriously doubt Olivia will stick with it either. She's been through ballet already and decided to quit after about 6 months. I have to imagine this will follow suit. Although her interest may rebound in 2016!

  7. I'm sad that I didn't get to see the opening ceremonies or any of the games, though did see a bit of the parade of nations. When I get home tomorrow I hope it will be available on demand.

    I love gymnastics, diving, and baseball/softball. In the winter, I love figure skating and the luge.

  8. Suzie, I like the volleyball and basketball as well in Summer. I'm also in the gymnastics, diving, swimming, oh heck, I like them all!

  9. *sigh* I must be a curmudgeon, too. I haven't watched any of it, either, although I did get a bit teary-eyed when they announced on the news that the young female swimmer from Colorado won a gold today.
    My daughter and SIL, however, have been watching faithfully, so I did manage to catch the Queen's "arrival" with James Bond during the opening games. After the seriousness (and show-offy style) of the opening ceremonies in China, I was thrilled that the purportedly stuffy Brits included so much humor. Wonder why we think they're stuffy? After all, it's the home of Monty Python!

  10. I watched the opening ceremonies right up to the end which is saying something for me. I'm right with your Lisa...I even watched the bike events because I love seeing the countryside.

    Loved the Queen's 'Bond Girl' video!

    I've also been enjoying tweets from Hugh Bonneville as he watches the events. The man is hilarious.

    Oh, and one other little event - the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. I can't wait to visit London and see the venues.

    One thing I learned was that London volunteered at a late date to host the olympics in 1948 when the war had cancelled the 1944 games. That must have been something amazing when London had had so much damage itself.

    So = the second Olympics during the Queen's lifetime.

  11. I don't think of the Brits as stuffy, Niki. I think of them as reserved--until you get to know them! That's actually a lot like me, come to think of it!

  12. BTW, NIki, I read your newspaper article and really enjoyed it! You should share that link here again.

  13. Deb, I hadn't thought of it being the Queen's second time to play host. Maybe one day we can go to England together? Maybe swing north into Scotland too? Hey, a girl can dream anyway!


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